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[CDT-L] Update: Flight of the Spirit Eagle

Just got off the phone with Ginny!  All are well but a bit sore
in the back and the knees and some blistered feet.  Hmmmm.....
That doesn't exactly sound well does it <G>, but considering
what they have been through, I think they did darn well!

Helena......6/04   59 miles hiked.....9 trail miles
If you have watched the weather,  you know it has snowed on top
of a lot of old snow and they have hit it dead on.

They had to hitch to  Helena to resolve some gear woes.  The Owens filter
clogged  (and dummy me forgot to ask which kind they were carrying)
and Dave has decided that the Zipstove is too much trouble right now.

They are working hard.  Postholing thru very wet snow varying from
knee to hip deep has slowed them down considerabley.  As has the
problems with trying to find and follow the trail when it's buried by
snow.  I'm mixing notes with memory,  so I may mess up the
sequence here but I hope the 'flavor' comes through.

The 15 mile approach trail went well  as did the first day's
hike to a lovely campsite.  The next day they lost the
trail in the snow, tried following some snowmobile tracks
till they veered in the wrong direction, bushwacked for
a couple miles before camping by  a lovely marsh.  Next day,
they decided to reorient to get out of the deep snow, found
an old jeep road, followed it for 15 miles till it too turned the
wrong way and then they.........well eventually a 6 mile roadwalk
got them back on track. And so it went.

The hikers amoung us totally understand the problems of following
an unblazed trail through deep snow.  There actually was one
section that was beautifully blazed but wouldn't you know,  ended
at a juction and Murphy's law,  they guessed wrong.  Understandable
considering the available maps.  They have seen three...count 'em,
three CDT markers and one of them was such a welcome site that
Ginny kissed it.

Now for the good stuff.  Have you ever seen an antelope move?
Ginny says their gait makes them flow over terrain in the most fabuloes
manner.  At first she thought they were white tails 'cause she saw
the flags.  But unlike the bounding of our eastern deer, the antelope
float over the terrain.  And they have seen moose.
The views are tremendous with the rolling hills backed by the white
mountains, but Ginny does ask that we pray for a quick melt.  I asked
if they regreted not having their snowshoes, but she said the snow is
sooo soft that snowshoes wouldn't help much.  There were times when
if they slipped and both legs ended up in the same hole that was hip
deep, they had to drop back just to be able to get leverage to get out.
Brrrr...hip deep in a slushee.....what fun ;^).

Well that's about it for today....
Except for this vingnette: What would you do?

You climb eight hundred feet through knee deep slush while trying
to get back on the trail.
Encounter barbed wire and 'no trespass' signs.
Decisions.....Slide back down 800ft and do another six miles of
road walk to get around to the otherside the hill and then climb
back up 800 ft

That's it for the Flight of the Spirit Eagle.  So with dry socks and new
gear, they await a taxi to get them back to the trail.              k.

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